The Newlyn Archive was present at the Newlyn Fish Festival this year in the Admiralty Boathouse (the old post office) with thanks to Rob Parsons the harbourmaster. We could only use the front part of the ground floor but showed some of the display that was part of the Open Day at Trinity Centre in July called To-ing and Fro-ing. There was also a television showing some old film and a number of display books for visitors to look at. We had a very busy day and there were some new faces so that we hope we have attracted some new friends to the archive.
We hope to make the Admiralty Boathouse our permanent home one day, but there is much work to do on the building before it will be ready. The Admiralty Boathouse was built on the ‘Bank’ at Street-an-Nowan in 1900 as a Boat and Watch House for the coastguard. Plans for the boathouse were submitted to the Public Work Loan Board at the same time that the harbour architect, Caldwell was submitting his plans for the nearby slipway.
On 14/6/1900 an indenture between the Public Works Loan Board and the Admiralty was signed which gave
‘ALL that plot of ground situate at the Bank at Newlyn Harbour aforesaid to the West of the inner end of the North Pier and measuring in length from north west to South east forty feet and in width from South East to South West twenty five feet… unto the lessees from the first day of August one thousand nine hundred for the term of sixty years YIELDING therefore the yearly rent of ten pounds’ and that ‘WITHIN one year from the date hereof or from the first day of August one thousand nine hundred (whichever shall be the later date) to erect and build on the said plot of the best materials and in a workman like manner and in accordance with the plans and specifications already approved of by the Lessor a substantial boathouse with watch room and store over’.
The original purpose of the building was to house a coastguard boat and the early drawing show a shore bank and slipway opposite for handy launching. There is no evidence that it was ever used as a boat house but a rocket wagon and rocket apparatus, were stored there. It became a post office in 1925.